In its inaugural edition (Winter 2017), the Long Island Literary Journal published two chapters from Mark Spano’s as-yet-unpublished memoir Kidding The Moon. “Marty’s House” is the second.
…friendship is…an abdication of self…We may talk a lifetime without doing more than indefinitely repeat the vacuity of a minute… And friendship is not merely devoid of virtue, like conversation, it is fatal to us as well. — Marcel Proust from Within a Budding Grove
By my third year at Elderwood, I spent little or no time with friends in the neighborhood. I had found a crowd from my school and hung around pretty exclusively with them. Our other classmates referred to us as “The Existentialists,” because we went about spouting Sartre and Camus like the pretentious little shits we were. Maybe to some degree, we knew of what we spoke, but most of it was the posture of contempt for the Irish version of Europeanism being inflicted on us by our school.
We met after school almost nightly to drink and party at the home of a particular classmate. We smoked cigarettes, drank beer and whiskey and argued about bands, books and the American war in Southeast Asia.
Marty Benoit was our regular host. (No one gave his name a French pronunciation. It got the Kansas City version, “beh-noyt.”) Marty was the smartest kid in school, and his family, if not the richest, were certainly among the most prominent in town. READ MORE